A billionaire businessman has invested £24 million into Goonhilly Earth Station towards its space project.

Peter Hargreaves, founder of finance and investment services company Hargreaves Lansdown, has taken a stake in the project that recently won an £8.4 million contract from the European Space Agency.

Goonhilly chief executive Mr Jones said: “Peter’s involvement is perfect timing as it allows us to realise our plans to grow parallel, but highly connected, revenue streams. We are breaking new ground in developing a private global deep space network at the same time as pushing the technology and service boundaries in other parts of the business.

Since 2014 the site has been owned by Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd (GES), a privately held company founded by technology entrepreneur Mr Jones, who has since invested £5 million in rejuvenating it.

Goonhilly now provides spacecraft tracking and monitoring services to many of the world’s largest satellite operators. The company recently announced an £8.4m contract with the European Space Agency (ESA) which will see it become the first private operator in the global Deep Space communication network and this new private investment will allow it to expand further to create its own fully independent, global Deep Space Network.

The ambitions don’t stop there. Working with Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd and ESA, the company plans a privately funded mission to the Moon, providing communication relay and navigation services to other lunar missions.

Goonhilly is also a key part of the UK’s ambitions to site Europe’s first Spaceport at Cornwall’s Newquay airport. If successful, Goonhilly would provide tracking and mission control services to a broad range of participants in the emerging low earth orbit satellite economy.

Explaining his investment, Mr Hargreaves said: “The team at Goonhilly have been delivering on an insightful vision, which has already propelled them to the key position in this expanding market. I wanted to add my backing to ensure they can realise their bold plans to be the recognised leader in the field."